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president george bush, bill clinton, and ross perot in st. louis. and then the year 2000 debate with al gore and former governor george w. bush in boston. join us tonight for past presidential debates on c-span. now the debate from the 1984 presidential campaign. president ronald reagan was running for reelection against former vice president walter mondale. this was the first of two debates between them that year. this takes place in louisville, ky. it aired live on october 7 on the three broadcast networks and attracted over 65 million viewers. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. [applause] >> good evening from the kentucky center for the arts in louisville, kentucky. i'm dorothy ridings, president of the league of women voters, the sponsor of tonight's first presidential debate between republican ronald reagan and democrat walter mondale. tonight's debate marks the third consecutive presidential election in which the league is presenting the candidates for the nation's highest office in face-to-face debate. our panelists are james wieghart, national political correspondent for scripps-
take the country down the path of defeatism and despair, and vice president bush has called him whining and hoping for bad news. and, mr. mondale, you have said that president reagan offers showmanship, not leadership, that he has not mastered what he must know to command his government. i'd like to ask each of you to substantiate your claims -- mr. mondale first. give us specifics to support your claim that president reagan is a showman, not a leader, has not mastered what he must know to be president after 4 years, and then, second, tell us what personal leadership characteristics you have that he does not. >> well, first of all, i think the first answer this evening suggests exactly what i'm saying. there is no question that we face this massive deficit, and almost everybody agrees unless we get it down, the chances for long-term, healthy growth are nil. and it's also unfair to dump these tremendous bills on our children. the president says it will disappear overnight because of some reason. no one else believes that's the case. i do, and i'm standing up to the issue with an answer t
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